Colton Haynes said his alcohol and drug use increased after he came out as gay in 2016

By Jodi Guglielmi
March 28, 2019 01:07 PM
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Colton Haynes is opening for the first time about his struggle with addiction.

The actor, 30, revealed he is six months sober after completing a four-month treatment program.

“In 10 years, there were maybe 25 days I didn’t drink,” Haynes told Attitude Magazine. “I remember when I started, it was a couple glasses of wine, and it regressed into really dark times.”

Though he says drinking and drug use has been a part of his life for the past decade, Haynes said his “downward spiral” truly started after he came out as gay in 2016.

“I came out and, in a way, my downward spiral started,” he said. “I felt extremely free but at the same time the amount of attention I was getting was making me spin out of control.”

And as Haynes struggled to adjust to the newfound attention, his personal life also began to crumble. The actor’s mother died in May 2018 after a battle with advanced cirrhosis of the liver.

And just a few months later, Haynes announced his divorce from husband Jeff Leatham after less than a year of marriage.

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Colton Haynes and Jeff Leatham
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“I got married and that didn’t work out. That was extremely public and heart-breaking, and right when that was going on, my mom died,” he said. “At that point, I fell apart. My brain broke. I was doing a massive comedy for a studio, showed up to work and got fired on the first day. They said I looked as if I had ‘dead in my eyes’, and I did. ”

Haynes said he started leaning on drugs and alcohol more than ever.

“I got so heavily involved with drugs and alcohol to mask the amount of pain I was feeling that I couldn’t even make some decisions for myself. I was drowning in my own s—,” he said.

The actor said he finally hit rock bottom when he woke up in a Los Angeles hotel after a seven-day bender.

“I locked myself in a hotel room at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills for seven days and was found in my room with these insane bruises all over my body,” he recalled. “It looked as if somebody had beaten the shit out of me. I couldn’t walk, so I was falling everywhere.”

“I almost ruptured my kidney, ended up in the hospital, ended up in 5150 psyche hold,” he said. “I was on such a destructive path that I could not function.”

He continued: “I lost partial sight in my left eye for a while. I ended up having two seizures. I didn’t know any of this was happening until I was sober enough to remember it.”

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The incident, which Haynes called a “rude awakening,” pushed him to seek help.

“If anyone else had told me to get help I would be like ‘F— you!’. I had to make that decision on my own. I was ready to stop running from my own problems,” he said. “Once I went to treatment, I found this amazing amount of true love for myself, and started figuring out who I am without those vices, and recognizing the people in my life who lifted me up instead of tearing me down.”

Now six months sober, Haynes said he wants to help end the stigma around addiction and inspire others who are struggling to speak out.

“I’m always going to be in recovery. There are so many people struggling out there, but not a lot of them talk about it. Life is much more beautiful than I could have imagined,” he said.

“It’s just a different life now. It’s the best gift I’ve ever been given.”